By Ismaila Chafe
The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it will soon establish an Institute for Progressive Studies to promote the manifesto and ideology of the party.
The National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, disclosed this at the end of a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the APC National Working Committee, at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said that the institute, when operational, would also propagate the ideals of the party aimed at addressing the menace of poverty and to re-create the Nigerian middle class.
He said: “We also share with the president our commitment to building an Institute for Progressives Studies because the problem with Nigeria is that people belong to various political parties but most of them don’t understand the ideology of those parties, if any.
“Some are not even familiar with the manifestoes of those parties and there is no conversation about how appropriate or inappropriate those manifestoes are.
“And you find that people holding very high positions in government, in both legislative and executive arms and even some party leaders may not even be aware of what we stand for as a party.
“So, we told the president we are going to build an Institute for Progressive Studies so that people will understand what defines us; what is the essence of progressive politics which is basically about social democracy.
“So, our party must be seen to be pro-poor, putting policies in place that will lift our people out of poverty and re-create the Nigerian middle class. And unless you re-create the Nigeria middle class, you are not going to have a stable, peaceful society.
“The tragedy for now is that, over the period, people are either very poor or very rich.’’
Oshiomhole, however, expressed the hope that the APC-led Federal Government would, in the next four years, deliver on its promises to the citizens.
He reiterated the readiness of the party and the National Assembly to work with the president in addressing the menace of extreme poverty in the country.
“Now, the president has to provide leadership, working with the National Assembly and the APC leadership to see how we can, over the next four years, deliver so that the current situation of extremely poor and extremely rich is bridged by re-creating the middle class,’’ he said.
The party chairman further stated that members of the NWC also used the opportunity to present the party’s financial report to the president as well as to congratulate him on his victory in the February 2019 Presidential Election.
He said that the president’s renewed mandate was a call to duty and “there is a lot to be done.’’